Best Christmas Songs to Learn on Guitar

Published on 24 November 2022


‘Three Chords and the Truth’. That’s what Harlan Howard once said about Country music, but he may as well have been talking about Christmas songs. Simple melodies that everyone can learn, simple chord progressions that take minutes to get under the fingers, and an attached sentiment of joy, happiness and the goodwill of all people. 

Job done!

It may not be quite as easy as all that though, given that the Christmas songs we all know and love are the same ones year in and year out, implying that crafting a Christmas song with longevity is actually pretty hard! Thankfully, we aren’t trying to write a new Christmas song today: we just want to learn a few so we can strum them at our grandparents in front of the log fire! 

If you have similarly warm and fuzzy aspirations for your own Christmas day experience, read on to learn some easy and effective Christmas songs!


Last Christmas - Wham!

Who doesn’t like this song? One of the few bands with a titular exclamation mark who are actually tolerable, Wham! were as pop as it got, but not so many people realise that George Michael was more than a great voice. Indeed, he not only wrote and produced this tune but played every single instrument on it too! That’s a different league of talent compared to most pop megastars of any age.

It may take a pop genius to write a hit like Last Christmas, but it doesn’t take too much to be able to play it. We believe the original key is D flat, but we see no major crime in bumping it down to C: it's just an easier situation for guitarists!



All I Want for Christmas is You - Mariah Carey 

It’s saying something when we state that the Mariah Carey tune on this list of songs is one of the more difficult ones. Hey, it’s a divisive tune to some, but most people get into the Christmas Spirit instantly after this song starts up, so why not check out how long it’ll take you to memorise it? You definitely know somebody who can’t wait to showcase their inner star/diva this Christmas by singing some Mariah, so give them an extra gift this year and get it learned!



Jingle Bells

If there’s one song that will be known by absolutely everyone at your Christmas party/dinner/get-together, it’s Jingle Bells. That old faithful, it’s simple enough that even your baby niece knows all the words, and the melody is so jaunty that even your least exuberant uncles will feel obliged to join in.

It’s well worth getting this one under your belt: it’s a crowd-pleaser, it’s laughably easy to learn and it’s an effective way of placating your family audience if you actually can’t be bothered with a full-on recital post-crimbo dinner. Ho-ho-ho!



Silent Night  

Christmas carols are a whole other genre to dip into, but whose Christmas is complete without a verse or two of Silent Night? Whether you are sitting around a log fire with mulled wine, or fully gloved and hatted amongst the frozen elements, this beautiful song is considerate enough to be super-easy to play through, as well as sounding quite lovely. Save Christmas this year by taking five minutes to learn Silent Night. Your Granny will never forget it!



The Power of Love - Frankie Goes to Hollywood

Here’s one for anybody who wants to really grandstand this Christmas. Cruelly knocked off the 1984 Christmas number 1 chart spot by Band Aid (how very dare they?), this song has nonetheless endured as an emotive Christmas classic.

Once the mulled wine is fully tanned and the Christmas brandies have been liberally passed around, see about retuning your acoustic guitar and bringing the ‘show’ to a suitably epic close with this wonderful number.



So Many Christmas Tunes!

The catalogue of great, less great and really-not-so-great Christmas songs is an ever-expanding thing, but the classics remain, year in, year out. We’ve only scratched a tiny snow angel into this winter flurry of a subject, so if you’ve mastered these five choices, why not delve deeper and increase your repertoire further?

Vocal acrobats could tackle the Queen and Darkness efforts, and if you have an elder relative, why not become the Bowie to their Bing Crosby this year? Whatever you choose to do this Christmas, may it be filled with music and merriment!

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I'm a musician and artist originally from the South West coast of Scotland. I studied Visual Arts and Film Studies at...

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